Lawman addresses Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Community By Linda Trischitta, Editor Friday, April 19, 2024

 Mario Knapp is a veteran lawman who retired as a major from the Miami-Dade Police Department after serving 27 years in nearly every division of the agency.   

 A Republican, Knapp is one of 17 candidates in the partisan sheriff’s race that will be decided Nov. 5. He is among the top recipients of campaign contributions, $130,022 as of March 31, records show.

 He spoke to the Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce on April 10 about his background and ideas for the department that he says needs leadership.    

 Perhaps most impactful in his career: Knapp wrote the agency’s active shooter policy.

  Knapp called some of his rivals in the campaign “recycled politicians” and says he is not one.

  He proposed a Citizen’s Academy as a high school elective in which students would go on ride-alongs with officers and learn different aspects of law enforcement, a course that he said would improve their chances of getting admitted to the Police Academy.

  Of particular interest to Miami Lakers is whether the new sheriff will void municipal contracts for protection like the one the town currently has with Miami-Dade Police, a scenario Knapp called “highly unlikely.”

   The Chamber has two big events coming up this year: 

--The Inaugural Charity Golf Tournament on June 13 at the Miami Lakes Golf Course. Cost is $175 per player/$700 per foursome. Check-in is at 7 a.m. There will be free drinks, a DJ, awards lunch and prizes. 

     The tournament is to benefit local charities and fund scholarships. For more information about playing or becoming a sponsor call 786-663-5449 or email

--Fortune with a Purpose, a masquerade and casino night co-sponsored by The Arc of South Florida. The evening starts at 6 p.m. and will benefit Arc’s Ace Academy and Project Thrive; GiGi’s Playhouse and the Angels Reach Foundation. 

    Tickets are $100. There will be casino games, a virtual auction, raffles, wine and food tasting, live music and dancing. The venue is the Miami Lakes Hotel on Main, 6842 Main St. To register go to

   The next luncheon is scheduled for May 8. Ryan Noble, executive director of 4KIDS Miami is guest speaker. 

   For more information go to